Dressing Seniors: 4 Tips for Caregivers

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As our population ages, the US is facing the need for more and more caregivers to help seniors maintain a quality of life. Currently more than 16.6% of American adults (39.8 million) find themselves caring for another adult, often a parent, who is unable to manage their own care. Many of these caregivers assist with dressing seniors each day, which can be a huge challenge to navigate efficiently, hygienically, and with dignity. Here are some tips to help caregivers dress seniors.

Do an Initial Assessment of the Senior

Before starting to dress, take an assessment of the physical and mental well being of the senior.  Are there any changes in their mood since the last time you assisted?  Might the senior have stiff joints because they just awoke for the day? Have any pressure sores or skin ulcers developed since the last time you helped dress them?  Taking an extra moment initially will help the dressing process

Fabrics Matter

Synthetic fabrics have come a long way.  Blended with natural fibers and stretchy fibers like spandex, synthetic fabrics can offer higher durability and performance, while being extremely soft and cozy. Stretch fabrics are also important to help reduce the struggle of donning and doffing the garment and provide extra ease of movement. When dressing seniors, stretch makes the caregiver's job

Consider Adaptive Clothing

New adaptive clothing options are being developed to help caregivers dress seniors. Garments may have alternate openings to allow access for catheter changes or extra ease in the underarm area to reduce over-rotation and pain for those suffering from frozen shoulders. Use Google to find products that can help your situation.

Choice is Important

When helping a senior dress, consider their style and provide them with choice options. Offer two, seasonally appropriate outfits with different colors. When a person is loosing their ability to dress themselves, choice in what to wear becomes even more important.

carla macklin